The importance of an R&D – CTS interface in the STB world

Set-Top-Box integration and validation phases are cyclic. You integrate SW from different layers (drivers, MW, UI), test it, analyze the results and issues observed during the validation and, if there are not critical/blocker behaviors, deliver to customer. Then, start a new sprint which will include fixes for those issues plus possible new features. This spinning wheel ends when SW achieves the desired maturity.

So, what can help to achieve this SW maturity earlier and with confidence? In my humble opinion, one key aspect is the presence of a close link between R&D and Customer Technical Support. A person who connects both teams and acts as interface.

For this role, among others, you must cover tasks like SW validation, result analysis, log investigations, issue tracking, code debugging and customer’s feedback understanding. It is true that he/she might not be able to fix issues either have an in-depth understanding about how the different stack APIs relate each other. However, if you succeed to manage above tasks, develop an open mindset of learning and communicate efficiently to both, R&D and CTS, teams, you will assure the work effort will be put on the relevant issues observed by customer and will have the know-how to address properly the root cause of them.

All this said, my professional experience during the last years surrounded by STBs suggests this role of R&D – CTS interface fits me well. I have a solid R&D background on DVB technologies obtained during the work in the University of Vigo and a clear CTS profile achieved the first years with STBs. All these ingredients mixed together give what today I refer as R&D – CTS interface. This combination would not have been possible if during the last 2 years I would have just remain as CTS role. I think the key point was the curiosity to understand the root cause of issues I was observing and put on the table an important percentage of my R&D skills.

Well, that’s all for this reflection!
Have fun in your job and do not close opportunities to relate all what you have learnt during your work life!

February 17th, 2019

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